I enjoy many professional sports casually, attending an event or two every year, but the NFL is by far my favorite. In the pre-season, there was a lot of hype that maybe the long-time hapless Cardinals would be decent this year. I knew better, even from the pre-season. Heck, my 8-year-old daughter knew better.
We went to see the last pre-season game against Denver. In that game, the Arizona starters played for quite a while against the Denver 2nd team, and got beaten up. Specifically, they could not run the ball and in turn their defense could not stop the run. So it was no surprise to see them get blasted in their first regular season game against the Giants.
The problem with the Cards is this: They have spent the last several years drafting high-profile position players, including spending a jillion 1st round picks on receivers. Great teams got that way because they invested in their lines - both O and D, even when such picks might be less popular with the fans on draft day. The Cards have instead focused on drafting "names" who might help sell season tickets in the new stadium. This neglect is very apparent today. It doesn't matter how good your position players are if there are no holes for the backs and the QB is getting plowed to the turf on every play. This is a 5-11 team that is fortunately playing in the NFL's worst division, so they may eek out 7 wins. You heard it here first.
By the way, if you are an avid football fan, I recommend two sites to you. The first is Football Outsiders, who have taken a Bill-James-like approach to football stats, rethinking metrics to provide a better insight into what teams really are good. Make sure to check out their DVOA rankings - basically they compare every teams performance on every play against other teams in the same situation (e.g. 3rd and 8 on their own 45). The other site is Greg Easterbrook's always entertaining Tuesday Morning Quarterback column, providing large doses of football clear thinking and haiku.